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The Importance of Anger

Anger is an emotion that suffers from a bad press. It was an emotion that was quite common place but seems to have almost been eradicated from contemporary life.

If you lose your temper in a restaurant, on a bus or in any public place you run the risk of being filmed and then shamed online. Rather than just brush aside the aggressor and assume that they are a bad person I wish people would be more forgiving about people that have lost their temper.

Anger is irrational and so it is no surprise that in the cold context of hindsight it plays badly when viewed online after the event itself.

The waiter serving you may have been rude and obnoxious throughout your meal but that makes no difference if you lose your temper; the context of the build up to you losing you temper matters little. You lose your temper and you are immediately viewed as the provocateur.

In fact anger has become so rare an emotion displayed publicly that not only do you run the risk of being shamed online; should you lose your temper in public you also run the risk of being viewed as mentally unbalanced and a danger to those around you.

I believe that this is deeply problematic, anger is a very natural feeling and reaction to any number of the challenges and interactions you face in your day to day life. It is an emotion that is very healthy to embrace and can become deeply problematic if you push it down and and do not embrace it.

Anger can be used to motivate yourself, to make sure that people do not take you for granted and demonstrates that you have clearly drawn lines of behaviour and values that you expect from others.

Like all emotions anger can be destructive but this most certainly does not mean that it should be rejected whole heartedly.

Most importantly anger demonstrates that you care and that you have passion.

So rather than always look at people with disdain when they lose their temper or be tough on yourself when you lose your temper, recognise it as an important emotion that should be part and parcel of being a human and living in a broader society.

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